galactic tape

"There's no need to mince words about Galactic: these guys are sh*t-hot live. Drop everything -- clothes, whatever -- and see this band next time they come to town!" (DropD Magazine, Vancouver)

Galactic's got the funk and they're taking it on the road. Night after night on their nonstop tour they show and prove that they ain't no half-steppin', studio-only phenomenon. If you're a funk fanatic, with two ears (and a nose) for the stinky New Orleans funk, don't miss your chance to check out a Galactic gig! Be sure to introduce yourself, and give them a big "what up!" from us.

Of course, we highly recommend that you support Galactic's tireless efforts by picking up a copy of their debut CD (Coolin' Off) or their latest release (Crazyhorse Mongoose). By doing so you help directly support Galactic (and independently recorded and released music in general). You might also really dig the new solo album from Galactic's drummer Stanton Moore, which includes special guests Charlie Hunter and Skerik.

But as we realize that this will only whip you into a frenzy for more recorded material than we could possibly provide ourselves, we encourage the taping and trading of Galactic gigs. Since we've been getting more and more questions about this from Galactic addicts, we thought we'd post a few commonly asked questions.

Q: Recording equipment scares me. How do I score some live Galactic tapes?

A: Some Galactic fans have set up a mailing list called the Galactic Syncopage, and there are alot of tapes offered there. Read the FAQ page!

There is also a database of people trading Galactic tapes at

Finally, swapping a Galactic tape for a Medeski Martin & Wood tape would be a cool trade (especially since Galactic has opened for MMW on occasion, and John Medeski owns one of Galactic's keyboards). So check the MMW email discussion group for people looking to trade.

Q: Are you sure you're OK with us taping your band?

A: Yep. We only ask a few things from you:

  • Send us the best possible copy (metal cassette or DAT) of any recording you make to the band at this address:
    c/o Fog City Records
    99 Carmelita Street
    San Francisco, CA 94117
    Please don't ask us to send you a blank tape or DAT. We feel that it's only fair to ask you to spring for it. If more than one person tapes the show, just meet afterwards and decide who will send a tape in. Besides, the band likes to listen to every tape - so by sending in the ones you make you are helping the band improve themselves.

  • Mark the tape clearly. Make sure that any tapes are marked with the band's name. Also please include their mailing address, which is given above. We've put together a template cassette label (in RTF format) which you can download, open using Microsoft Word, customize and print out.

  • Do NOT sell any live recordings. By making money this way, you undermine the spirit of the taping community, and make it even harder for real musicians to earn a living wage.

Q: What about taping right off the soundboard?

A: NEW POLICY - Unfortunately, after suffering through a string of poor soundboard recordings, Galactic now has an official policy of "no soundboard taping". We're sorry to have to make this announcement, but we all felt it was NOT a good idea for tapes to be circulating where all you can hear is the saxophone and guitar! Generally the problem exists with smaller venues, where the P.A. system is there just to fill in the gaps and where the louder instruments (such as drums and bass) are often left out of the mix entirely.

The one possible exception to this is that Galactic sometimes travels with their own sound engineer. In this case, a soundboard mix or matrix mix (see below) may be available. This will only be possible, however, when the engineer and band arrive with ample time to complete their sound check, create a good soundboard mix, and patch in to the first taper to arrive on the scene, BEFORE THE SHOW STARTS. After the show has started most engineers are really busy trying to make the show sound as good as possible for everyone else in the club, so please arrive early if you want to tape (and then let everyone do their job - thanks!!)

We cannot arrange for a soundboard feed in advance of the show, and we can't provide a schedule of shows where feeds will be provided. There are too many variables, including whether the band had to drive for 14 hours and barely got to the gig in time... or whether the sound man got some bad chili at the last rest stop, etc... Your best bet is to arrive at the show with a deck and a mic, as well as patching cables. That way you can be sure to leave with a tape of the show!

Again, we really can't confirm whether a sbd feed will be available at any particular show. Please re-read the above paragraph one mo time. :)

Q: Any other tips on live recording?

A: We've heard some good recordings from audience microphones, and some great recordings taken right off the soundboard. Usually the best sound would be somewhere in between (commonly called a "matrix") -- and since you asked, here's what we recommend:

If you can get to the show in time, and the band is playing in a small venue with a low ceiling, set up your audience mic about 10' in front of the stage, hanging from the ceiling and aimed at the middle of the stage (right in front of the drums). In a bigger venue (with taller ceilings) you will need to use your stand and set up towards the back (so you're not blocking anyone's view).

Assuming you've got a small mixer (like a Mackie 1202), and a soundboard feed is available, mix about 75% soundboard (mono) and 25% audience microphone (stereo) direct to your DAT.

If you don't have headphones or a portable mixer (and can't get a good mix on the spot), plug the soundboard feed into the LEFT channel of the DAT and the audience mic into the RIGHT channel. This will allow you to independently eq the two sources and mix a killer tape at home (although it will be MONO). We love getting these kind of tapes, which can sound unbelievably good when mixed properly.

Generally, however, these so-called "matrix" mixes will have to be made by the engineer running the soundboard. It is entirely up to the engineer and the band, and if you want any chance of getting a matrix mix you must arrive to the show as early as possible and discuss it with the engineer. We cannot arrange this for you beforehand, however...

Q: What about videotaping?

A: Pretty much the same thing as audio taping. As long as you don't mess up the show for others (by blinding or burning people with hot, bright lights for example) things should be just fine. You may be forced into the audio tapers pit (by the management of the club; it's up to them). Sorry, but we can't arrange for backstage passes, or onstage passes, for videotaping access. And you should send us a copy of the tape. Please be sure to maintain a respectful distance from the band (dont make them feel like fish in a bowl)...

Q: How do I find out when Galactic's playing in my area?

A: Galactic's up-to-the-minute tour schedule is always available online at

We also maintain a mailing list. Join it by filling out a simple form, and we'll send you an email message when the band lands a gig in your area.

E-Mail a friend about this page!

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